TAKING that further step to a new level is the objective for Lae City Dwellers as the National Soccer League champions gear up for the 2017 season and their second appearance in the OFC Champions League.
Coach Peter Gunemba revealed that the club had set goals and standards and were working on achieving them.
“This year we are planning to retain the NSL title, we also plan to maintain our high standards and make the playoffs in the OFC Champions League,” Gunemba said.
The 2016 NSL champions began training last December then went on to have trials matches with the PNG Under-17 side and will have another match against Madang FC on Saturday at the Sir Ignatius Kilage Stadium in Lae.
Gunemba said the training and the trial games were good but their greatest concern was the lack of NSL games to prepare for the upcoming OFC Champions League next month.
“The NSL has not started yet but hopefully we get to play one or two NSL matches before we head to the OFC Champions League. I think we need more NSL games and other trial games to be competitive in the Champions League.”
The Dwellers will have some lead up matches against Suva FC, and the Fiji national team and if possible Western Springs (New Zealand) before the Champion League starts on March 11.
The Dwellers are pooled with Vanuatu, Auckland City and Western United.
Striker Nigel Dabinyaba, who has been signed on to play in Malaysia, won’t be available to join this campaign.
In the meantime, the Morobean coach is positive about the talent on his roster and will depend on co-captains Troy Gunemba and Valentine Nelson to lead this year.